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CPSM: Not Just Four Letters

Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM). Four letters that could change your career.  

Since 1999 when SMPS initiated the CPSM program, over 900 members have obtained the CPSM designation. Being a CPSM not only means you have the knowledge to elevate your firm, but you know how to apply that knowledge. Unlike many other certification programs, passing the CPSM exam means you have the ability to think deeply about all six Domains of Practice for Professional Services Marketing and apply them in various situations to better your firm. The test does not just require memorization but is based on the practical application of your knowledge.

I remember back in 2012 when I decided to take the exam. I took it because I was encouraged by my peers in the Society. Because my background was not in marketing and the fact that I was a licensed architect and owned my firm, I was reluctant to take the exam. But, I was beginning to become heavily involved nationally in the Society, and I wanted the credential that my colleagues had obtained. I also wanted to test my knowledge against the best. I took the exam seriously and put together a six-month study plan (one for each domain). I happily passed the exam, but the real value for me was the learning and deep knowledge I gained through my preparation.

My story may be different than yours, but there are so many reasons to become a CPSM.  Consider the following:

Knowledge. Even if you have a marketing or communications degree, studying for the CPSM can be a great learning experience. Our industry is constantly changing and studying can help you enhance your knowledge. The MARKENDIUM six-book series, for instance, was written by the most respected and knowledgeable subject matter experts in the country. Their perspective and tips in the books will easily bring benefits to you and your firm.  

Recognition. A recent survey of CPSMs reported an increase in recognition within their firms.  In fact, 35% said they receive more respect from the firm's technical staff since receiving their CSPM and almost 80% of those surveyed stated their peer recognition was higher after passing the CPSM exam. This respect and peer recognition leads to a higher confidence level that can lead to better opportunities and better work. Most firm principals in our industry have some type of licensure, be it engineering, architecture, or construction. They understand the testing process and the work it takes to become certified. The pass rate for the CPSM is comparable to the CPA exam or Architectural Registration exam, showing the difficulty of the testing process and the knowledge required.

Increase in salary and bonus. On average CPSMs report 30% more salary and 78% more bonuses than their non-certified peers. These metrics demonstrate that CPSMs are providing value to their firms through their knowledge, strategy, and action.

From October 31-November 4, we will celebrate CPSM Week as a Society. This week is a great time to further understand the process and put a plan in place to become a Certified Professional Services Marketer. Do it for the knowledge, the recognition, the increase in salary, or any another reason that is important to you.  

SMPS President Craig Galati, AIA, FSMPS, CPSM, is principal of LGA, in Las Vegas, NV. He can be reached at 702.263.7111 or [email protected].

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